Sharing our classroom: teachers and aides communicate

The roles and responsibilities of classroom teachers are being redefined. Special populations of students are increasingly being included in regular classrooms. Support teachers and aides enter regular classrooms to assist those students rather than pulling those students to other classrooms for extra assistance. Classroom teachers are now called upon to organize instruction and facilitate communication about those special students. This study focuses on the relationships and communication between a classroom teacher, Resource (RSP) Specialist, Resource aide, and English Language Leamer (ELL) aide. A classroom teacher shares the various ways teachers and aides who worked in her classroom communicated at the start of a school year. They used verbal communication, Monthly Communication Forms, Progress Reports, Communication Logs, and written notes. The classroom teacher collected ideas from researchers and colleagues to find ways to more effectively and efficiently communicate. In the end, the staff team passed Communication Logs among each other, scheduled routine meetings, and used new Communication Forms. The most significant finding was the need to share teaching philosophies with one another and to clarify their roles. The end results were more systematic communication, an increase in student focus, and a decrease in team frustrations.